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We learn quite a lot even when we teach.  I have recently returned from the National Society of Cosmetic Physicians 5th Annual meeting in Tucson, AZ.   I was a guest speaker on topics of laser vein therapy, laser liposuction of the neck and facial and hand fat grafting.  But most interesting to me was a lecture given by my colleague Dr. Dexter Blome, a plastic surgeon from Columbus, OH. 

Dr. Blome spoke about large volume liposuction but delivered an eloquent expose on our bodies’ fat cells function.   Many of us understand that excess fat bulges over our jeans and we opine on how to lose that “muffin top”.  Fat cushions our bodies and is an efficient energy storage site.   

Dr. Blome posed the question is Liposuction really just “Vanity Surgery”? 

Dr. Blome explained that fat also produces produces many hormones.  One such hormone is Leptin which causes inflammation.  Inflammation can be damage of our bodies’ tissues such as heart blood vessels.  Fat also decreases our Insulin sensitivity predisposing us to diabetes.

Does large volume liposuction reduce body fat mass ill effects?  Dr. Blome believes so.  Theoretically one would postulate  that reducing the volume of fat in our body is medically beneficial.  Wouldn’t it be nice if large volume liposuction reduced our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension?

Although we do not have definitive evidence that liposuction improves our medical health and not just our body image it sure would be nice.  Dr. Blome’s argument has me leaning towards this optimistic conclusion!


Walter Tom, MD, FACS